The largest gainers for the quarter were Letshego (40.9 percent), StanChart (32.3 percent) and Seedco (22.7 percent) on a total return basis.
The hospitality sector continues to face significant headwinds as the sector remains virtually closed off to international tourists and events. Cresta recorded a loss of P63.0 million for the full year 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 containment measures and the business utilised P47.7 million in cash reserves during the year. However, revenues did show some resilience, falling only 49.0 percent. With the remaining cash reserves at P56.7 million, Kgori Capital’s Tshegofatso Tlhong estimates that the business can sustain itself for the FY2021, after which whether it remains a going concern will be under review. Chobe recorded a full year loss of P67.7 million as revenues declined 92.6 percent. The business used up P59.4 million in cash reserves; it has P4.3 million in cash and drew down P11.6 million of their P25 million overdraft facility. Tlhong says Chobe’s current cash position is more challenging compared to that of Cresta, however, the Group’s assets are all unencumbered, allowing for significant room for gearing. “Hospitality remains in the doldrums,” Tlhong says adding that “we are hopeful that the lifting of the State of Public Emergency (SoPE) and roll-out of the vaccination program will fast track the reopening of the sector”. Until then, she cautions that cash reserves are under pressure and another year of marginal occupancies will put players in very difficult positions.
On the property front, Tlhong says property sector fair value adjustments indicate that commercial properties are under the most pressure, while industrial and retail properties remained more resilient. New African Properties (NAP) interim results showed a 21.2 percent reduction in earnings due to negative property revaluation adjustments. Operating profit was 3.1 percent lower than the previous period and total distributions to shareholders increased 11.1 percent to 13.38t.
Turnstar’s full year earnings were 30.1 percent lower because of P12.3 million in rental relief given to tenants, an impairment in Goodwill and negative revaluation adjustments. Distribution per linked unit doubled to 19.0t. Primetime interim earnings showed a decline of 84.3 percent due to foreign exchange losses of P20.9 million. Distribution per linked unit declined by 16.8 percent to 5.26t. Tlhong says inflation linked rental escalations will be positive for an industry that has taken their fair share of negative rental revisions in the last year.
RDC Properties announced that it is in negotiations to acquire a JSE listed Tower Property Fund at a price of R4.00 per share. This represents a total potential consideration of P980million funded via P730million in equity and the balance in debt.
Seedco full year earnings came in 52.7 percent higher due to higher seed demand as weather conditions were favourable. The Company abandoned its acquisition of Seedco Limited after exchange control approval from the Zimbabwean Exchange Control authorities could not be secured. BancABC announced that Atlas Mara Limited had entered into a share purchase agreement with Access Bank PLC in which the latter would acquire 78.15 percent stake in BancABC Botswana.